Japan: Southern Japan on alert after Typhoon Neoguri sweeps across Okinawa

9th Jul 2014
Japan: Southern Japan on alert after Typhoon Neoguri sweeps across Okinawa

Typhoon Neoguri has weakened slightly after making landfall in Okinawa and then into the East China Sea. The storm is projected to make landfall in Japan’s southern main island of Kyushu on Thursday.

The Japan Meteorological Agency warned that severe weather from Typhoon Neoguri would continue, the eighth typhoon of the season.

The storm had lost some strength by Wednesday, packing winds of 126 kph (78 mph) with gusts of up to 180 kph. It was travelling at 20 kph and heading toward Japan’s southern main island of Kyushu where it was expected to hit on Thursday.

The southern Japanese island of Okinawa remained under a flood and mudslide warning on Wednesday, where the typhoon had made landfall the previous day.

“Given the situation, there is still potential for some serious damage,” an official from the Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA) told a news conference.

“Given how soaked the ground is in some parts of Kyushu already, there is a high danger of landslides and floods, even though the typhoon’s strength is diminishing,” the official said.

At least two people were killed and 32 others injured on Tuesday in the typhoon.

Authorities advised 600,000 of the island’s 1.2 million residents to evacuate their homes amid 14 meter (46 feet) storm surges. Some 100,000 homes were still without electricity late Tuesday.

The US military houses more than half of the 50,000 troops it keeps in Japan at several sites in Okinawa, including at the Kadena Air Base. The military has prohibited outdoor activity during the storm and evacuated aircraft.

The typhoon got its name from a Korean word meaning “raccoon dog,” a knee-high tree-climbing canid common in East Asia.

kms/lw (AP, Reuters, dpa)


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